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Study finds link between toddler TV exposure and problems later in life
First off, I hate TV. I hate it for the advertising, I hate it for its stupid content, I hate it because it's almost never interesting or educational. So for me it's no surprise to learn that TV is linked to degraded performance in all kinds of areas for kids. Now this study establishes a clear correlation, but it's not necessarily causal. There may well be other contributory factors like socioeconomic factors, home life issues, etc. In the end, though, I think it's clear that if you're a parent, you've got a responsibility to create a healthy environment for your kids to grow up in.
For each hour of television above the average that the more than 1,300 children had watched as toddlers, their classroom engagement fell by 7 percent and their math achievement by 6 percent, the researchers found. Reading did not differ. Each additional hour of TV above the average was associated with a 10 percent higher likelihood of being victimized by classmates, according to a social behavior questionnaire completed by teachers. Time spent being physically active fell 13 percent with each additional hour of TV watching as toddlers. Body mass index was 5 percent higher, and consumption of soft drinks and snacks was 9 percent and 10 percent higher, respectively. The results were similar for the 4-year-old preschoolers.
"We can't draw causal connections but we can certainly feel pretty confident about contributory connections."
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